This week I had the pleasure of joining the Special Recreation Group from the local park district, for a field trip to an indoor driving range. I was invited as a volunteer helper, but was also encouraged to bring my clubs to practice my swing. I had no idea what to expect from the night, but was willing to participate in the adventure.
As I made my way onto the bus, clunky clubs in tow, one of the young men said “Hey, you’re new, I’ve never seen you before.” I replied, “You’re right, hi, my name is Sheryl, what’s yours?” Without hesitation, we shook hands, and just that easy, I was accepted as part of the group. There were four young gentlemen, all placing their clubs in the back of the bus, each one was wonderfully unique and special.
One young man was very quiet and reserved but was having a good time. His demeanor was subdued, but he still remained an intricate part of the group. The other three were more out spoken but they all showed respect for one another. They valued what everyone in the group had to say. They even encouraged me when I had long drives, making me feel included and welcome.
As the night flew by we enjoyed a meal together. The conversation was light and hopeful of the upcoming golf season and self-confidence in their improved golf game. The bus ride home was filled with laughter and cheer.
Why do we often shy away from people that are different from us? Is it fear of the unknown? Taking the time to learn about our differences can enrich our lives. When I first boarded the bus with my clunky clubs in tow, I had no idea I would encounter pure and complete joy from these young men. They accepted me as I was, no questions, no judgements, and I quickly became part of their team.
Making the time to get to know people that are different from each of us is worth the investment. I am so glad I boarded that little bus, and said yes to the adventure, my heart has expanded a little more.